Stripes and by the way where did the sun go?!??!

I am very unimpressed by this abrupt backward turn in the weather…do you realise that it is exactly a month until the longest day?

What is going on?

Should we do away with all thoughts of buying a summer wardrobe and just opt for an all year round winter one?

For the eternal optimists amongst us, who are still looking to invest in summer items, stripes could be your go- to, fail safe trend.

(Also they can live on into autumn/ winter quite nicely too!)

In stripe world anything goes… regatta, patchworked, shirting, wide, narrow, vertical or horizontal, take your pick.

Here’s a look at how they appeared on the S/S ’13 catwalks.

I love the Paul & Joe combo!

For the high street, stripes are a godsend and an easy sell, there should be no shortage of them at a more reasonable price point.

Here are some of my high street favourites.

Whistles- Stina Stripe Dress,  £165

Whistles– Stina Stripe Dress, £165

Maison Scotch- Silky Stripe Top, £98 reduced to £45

Maison Scotch– Silky Stripe Top, £98 reduced to £45

Yippee, this was on one of my Lust Lists…I shall be bagging myself one!!

By Marlene Birger- Suave Stripe Skirt, £145

By Marlene Birger– Suave Stripe Skirt, £145

Crew Clothing - Blossom Vest, £48

Crew Clothing – Blossom Vest, £48

Gap- Harbour jersey rolled sleeved striped dress, £34.95 reduced to £24.99

Gap- Harbour jersey rolled sleeved striped dress, £34.95 reduced to £24.99

& Other Stories- Striped Blazer, £79

& Other Stories– Striped Blazer, £79

Comptoir des Cotonniers- Linen T- Shirt, £55

Comptoir des Cotonniers– Linen T- Shirt, £55

Suffice to say that there is a bountiful stripe selection out there…now all we need is a bit of sun to go with them!!

Until next time….

The Maternity Wardrobe

Ahhh pregnancy… not my favourite state of being!

Being honest, I am simply not a person who blooms or blossoms during pregnancy. In fact I think it is fair to say that after gaining a whopping four and a half stones, the term ‘balloons during pregnancy’ is probably more applicable to me!

My straight talking grandmother was probably spot on when she informed me and an equally pregnant friend that we looked like a couple of beached whales! Just what we needed to hear!!

Pregnancy however seems to be rather ‘on trend’ at the moment, with many celebrities, and of course The Duchess of Cambridge all sporting the latest accessory The Baby Bump!

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge with her tiny wee bump!

The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge with her tiny wee bump!

Nine years ago, when I was pregnant, you rarely saw a pregnant celebrity, they used to hide themselves away, until 3 weeks after the birth. Then they would reveal themselves on the red carpet, miraculously looking for all the world, like someone who had not had a baby…ever!!

Why was this?

Well obviously they didn’t want to be ‘papped’ looking like waddling ducks but I think there’s a bigger reason…MATERNITY CLOTHES or lack of, should I say!

The maternity uniform which was available to me was a very basic pair of jersey trousers, some unflattering, badly fitted jeans and a selection of empire line jersey tops. If you were really pushing the boat out, an unfashionable jersey dress, whoop de doo!

So is the world of  maternity wear still the same barren, uninspiring place?

Happily, the legions of fabulously pregnant celebrities out there, proudly flaunting their stylishly dressed bumps, confirm that times are most definitely a changing!

A heavily pregnant Busy phillips on the red carpet, looking stunning

A heavily pregnant Busy Phillips on the red carpet, looking stunning

About to pop, Lara Stone rocking a minin dress

About to pop, Lara Stone rocking a mini dress

Kim K in her on trend monotone dress

Kim K in her ‘on trend’ mono tone dress

The ‘barely there’ maternity wear department, located at the back of Littlewoods, is no longer the only port of call for expectant mothers.

Today maternity is taken seriously, Topshop, H&M, Gap and a host of others High Street brands, all offer affordable ranges of clothes which look to fashion and trend for their inspiration.

But lets not get too carried away here; a pregnant bump is still a pregnant bump, there are limitations!

Here are some of the more inspiring high street finds.

Topshop - Maternity v back maxi dress - £18

Topshop – Maternity v back maxi dress – £18

H&M- Mama Jeans, £24.99

H&M- Mama Jeans, £24.99

Gap - Striped slub cowl neck T, £14.95

Gap – Striped slub cowl neck T, £14.95

Not feeling like trawling the high street, then why not turn to the huge array on online stores now offering high street and designer maternity wear? Isabella Oliver, A pea in the pod, Seraphine and ASOS all do the job brilliantly.

Asos, New Look maternity jersey dress, £19.99

ASOS, New Look maternity jersey dress, £19.99

Isabella Oliver - Ella knit Dress, £115

Isabella Oliver – Ella knit Dress, £115

A pea in the pod - 7 for all mankind secret fit belly skinny jeans, $215

A pea in the pod – 7 for all mankind secret fit belly skinny jeans, $215

Maternity wear today truly is a world away from the lack lustre choice that I was faced with.

And if things weren’t greatly improved already, the current trend for oversized shapes has added to the veritable bump covering bounty of clothing.

I could almost begin to get excited about pregnancy…but not quite!!

What do you think, do you have maternity wear horror or happy memories?

Have a good weekend!